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Pakistan's paramilitary forces chief removed after teen killing

By the CNN Wire Staff
Footage of an unarmed teenager before he was shot by Pakistan paramilitary officials last week.
Footage of an unarmed teenager before he was shot by Pakistan paramilitary officials last week.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A 17-year-old man is shot in video that horrified the nation when it was broadcast
  • Sarfraz Shah begs for his life on the video
  • Police say the victim was a thief who threatened people with a gun

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- The Pakistani military removed the chief of the Sindh Rangers as the fallout continues over the taped killing of an unarmed teenager by the paramilitary forces.

On Friday, the Supreme Court called on the government to transfer Maj.Gen. Ijaz Chaudhary from his post -- an order that has since been carried out.

"In compliance with supreme courts orders Major General Ijaz Chaudhary, DG Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) has been posted out," the military said in a brief statement Wednesday. The statement did not say where Chaudhary had been placed.

Meanwhile, the six members of the paramilitary force who are accused of killing the teen last week have been turned over to police and will be tried under the country's terrorism act, a police official said Monday.

The Supreme Court has sent the case to an anti-terrorist court, which was ordered to conclude proceedings within a month, said Ahtisham Ali, a senior Karachi police official.

Pakistan security kills man on camera
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Anti-Terrorist Courts in Pakistan are special courts where hearings are expedited and decisions come more quickly than in the regular court system.

The accused -- members of the Sindh Rangers -- can be seen opening fire on 17-year-old Sarfraz Shah in a video captured by a local television cameraman and broadcast across Pakistan's networks last week.

Before being shot twice, Shah pleads with the men carrying automatic rifles. "I am helpless," he cries. "Please do not fire."

Shah begs to be taken to a hospital before bleeding to death.

The incident was the latest in a series of human rights incidents that has horrified the south Asian nation and deeply eroded public confidence in security agencies.

"This kind of anger among the public and even politicians hasn't been seen before," said Zohra Yusuf, chairwoman of the Pakistan Human Rights Commission.

"It was the way the young man was brutally shot dead in close quarters," she said. "And the footage showed very clearly that he was not armed. The footage itself is so crystal clear. It tells the whole story."

Shah tried to rob people at a park named in honor of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Karachi police official Rafiq Gulsaid Shah pointed a pistol and wanted to steal cash and cell phones.

He was handed over to park security and then to the Rangers.

Shah apparently tried to snatch the Rangers' guns, Gul said. That's when the soldiers opened fire.

The video shows Shah reaching for their weapons before backing away.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik vowed justice but tempered his comments about Shah.

"There should be no doubt that this video shows an unjust action," he said. "Action will be taken against the soldiers, but no one should forget he (the victim) is a criminal. He pointed a pistol at two women and then he tried to rob them.

"There are two things -- one, his criminal record, and another, an unjust killing," Malik said. "I assure the relatives of the victim the investigation will be transparent and neutral and the results will be made public. These are the criminals that create problems for the public, but it does not justify killing like this."

Shah's family insisted that the Rangers had killed an innocent man.

"My son was innocent," his mother said. "They killed him."

CNN's Phil Black, Aliza Kassim and Moni Basu, and journalist Nasir Habib contributed to this report.

 
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